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11, Ludgate Hill. 6 



" Oh, dear !"' exclaimed Nellie Martin, 
as she came in from school, and threw her 
books down on the table, <c I do think a 
boarding-school is the worst place in the 



" Why," replied Mabel Lee, " I thought 
you liked it ever so much ; you said you 
did, yesterday," 

" Well, I thought so then, but I don't 
now, for the girls are making unkind re- 
marks about me ; and I mean to write to 
mamma, and ask her if I may come home." 

A slight smile spread over Mabel's 
countenance, as she rejoined : 

" 1 suppose you never say anything 
against the other girls, do you?" 

"No, indeed, not as they do, I am 
sure. Why, if I said one half as many 
things about Gertrude Leland as she does 
about me, 1 should be ashamed to shew 
my face anywhere." 

" Well, Nellie, suppose you and I each 
take a piece of paper and write down 
every slanderous' expression that we hear 
each other use this evening, and at nine 
o'clock compare our papers." 

" Well, I am willing, but I don't 
believe we shall have anything to write ; 
at any rate, I think your paper will be 
blank. If you would only try it with the 
girls in the next room, there would be 
some fun in it." 


The evening wore away, and nine 
o'clock arrived. As soon as the first stroke 
ftf the bell was heard, Nellie pushed aside 

her books, saying, " Now, Mabel, let me 
hear what you have to say; you must 
read first, because you have the longest 

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list. ^ Indeed, it seems to me your 
pencil has done nothing but write, write, 
all the evening." 

11 And it strikes me that your tongue 
has done nothing but run, run, all the 
evening. But I must begin, or we shall 
not be in bed in time. I have — let me 
see—one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, 
eight, nine, ten breaches of the Ninth 
Commandment against you on my paper." 

" Not so many, I know ; let me hear." 

" In the first place, when you opened 
your books to commence studying, you 
thought Miss Lane was the crossest teacher 
that ever lived, she gave such long and 
hard lessons." 

u I remember that, but that is the 
strongest expression I have used, is it not ?" 

" We will see. Then, you asked me if 
I intended to keep my two silent hours 
this evening ; I told you no, not until to- 
morrow morning; upon that, you called 
Mrs. an unfeeling creature, for re- 
quiring to keep them at all. 

" Soon after that, the fire needed some 
attention. You went to the coal- box for 


some coals, and accidentally tore your 
dress on a nail which was sticking in the 
inside of it. You declared that the next 
time you had a box sent you from home, 
you hoped your brother John would have 
nothing to do with nailing it up ; the 
' little scamp/ I think was the epithet you 

used. You sat down to mend your dress, 
but could not find your thimble; I re- 
minded you that you lent it to Fannie, 
yesterday, and you replied that you 
wished she had been at the bottom of the 
Red Sea, before she came in here borrow- 



ing your things. I could not help smiling, 
then ; for I remembered that you bor- 
rowed hers a week ago, and lost it ; and 
she was obliged to use yours instead. 

" About eight o'clock, Sarah came in to 
ask you where the History lesson com- 
menced ; you told her ; but no sooner had 
she left the room, than you exclaimed, ' I 
hope I shall never be accused of following 
her example ; she had better keep her 
ears open when the lesson is given out. I 
believe she always hears with her elbows.' 

" Our lamp w r ent out, a few minutes 
ago. You called the lady with whom we 
board, a ' stingy old woman ' that could 
not afford to supply us with decent lamp- 

" Oh, Mabel, did I really say that ? I 
don't remember it ; why, how wicked it 
was ! It was entirely my fault that the 
lamp did not burn well ; for when I had 
sealed my letter, I played with my seal- 
ing-wax until I had nearly covered the 
wick with it, Well, please don't read 
any more to me, for I am heartily 
ashamed of myself. In future, I will try 

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to keep a strict watch over my tongue; 
and over my thoughts, too, for I suppose 
I should never say such things if I did not 
think them first." 

Ar Mabel lay in bed that night, think- 
ing over the events of that day, this verse 
came into her mind : " In the multitude 
of words there wanteth not sin ; but he 
that refraineth his lips is wise."